Sunday, April 29, 2007

They keep dragging me back in

An open letter to both sides of the Titus Chu/Living Stream debacle

Every time I want out, they keep dragging me back in

---Michael Corleone

I really had no intention of opening this can again. I was done with the whole topic, I had said what I had to say, and that was it. Let the boys keep on bickering and let me get on with life.

But if I'm anything, I'm curious, and sometimes that gets the better of me. Plus, I still get hits on this blog (if it even qualifies as a blog anymore) from people looking for information on the subject, and right now if you Google "Titus Chu" the number one site that comes up is The Lord's Army, which doesn't qualify as "objective journalism" under any stretch of the imagination. And that bothers me. It bothers me because whoever writes for that site is doing more harm than good and hardly doing the Lord a favor.

So for those who have remained on the LSM side, who keep the seven feasts and stay loyal to the blended brothers, choosing to only read publications released by the ministry of the age, a word of advice. Do yourself a favor and drop the rhetoric, drop the strident tone, and minister Christ to people. Quit stirring the pot, quit suing other brothers to get some piece of property back, and dedicate yourself to God's building. Open the Life Studies once again, stop trying to prooftext them in order to prove what Brother Lee would have really wanted, and dish out the riches. There are hungry people out there who want the food you can supply. God, Christ, the Spirit, the Church, the Kingdom, the New Jerusalem. (I think there is another one in there but don't hold me to that.) Incarnation, Human Living, Crucifixion, Resurrection, Ascension, Glorification. The Son, with the Father, by the Spirit- the embodiment of the Triune God in Jesus Christ as God's tabernacle and God's temple, living the life of God to develop into the Kingdom of God. Remember these things? This is what brought you to the dance, and this is who will bring you home at night.

"The directors of "the church of the Torontonians Corporation" have now taken over the church property in Toronto. The three directors Steven Pritchard, Jonathan Png and David Lio have successfully manipulated the saints in accepting what will becoming the most authoritarian and none biblical by-laws of any locality and probably of any denominations….Nigel Tomes stood up to share why the new by-laws are necessary. He said the directors take care of the practical and financial side and the elders take care of the spiritual side. But now the church is under attack, therefore these by-laws are necessary. He did not explain how the church is being attacked. Is the church being "attacked" spiritually? If that is the case then how come the elders are not praying? Why would they need the directors to protect the church? What they are really trying to protect is the physical property. They have no concern for the spiritual aspect as a church, as it is quite apparent from their by-laws. The church in Toronto is truly being attacked; by the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenlies working through brothers like Nigel Tomes, Steve Pritchard, Jonathan Png, Robin Lao and Ian Brinksman." (Lord's Army blog, emphasis mine)

"How come the elders are not praying?" How come you aren't praying? Have you ever thought about the damage your writings cause as well, or are you just consumed with seeing the elders of the (supposed) "church of the Torontonians Corporation" get theirs? You talk about unscriptural by-laws and corporations, yet you support legal actions by LSM minions which are just as unscriptural? C'mon, man, grow up.

Now to "the other side"- those who believe that the excommunication/"quarantining" of Titus Chu is without merit- my advice to you would be…well… the same, actually. Just because you are allowing yourself to be open to other writings, to other ministries, doesn't mean that you need to forsake Living Stream publications. The Life Studies are just as valuable as the day you first found them. The Recovery Version footnotes are just as rich. Read them, love them, live them. More importantly, love and live the Christ that met you in those days and has sustained you ever since.

A little bit of Christ goes a long, long way.

2 Comments:

Blogger Nigel Tomes said...

Dear Sean,
I appreciate you concern for the Church in Toronto. We value the prayers of believers like yourself as we pass through a difficult period. I've read you admonition & agree with it. Let me assure you that the believers who continue meeting as the Church in Toronto have no intention of abandoning the writings of Witness Lee & Watchman Nee which have rendered help to us (and countless other believers.)
On the other hand let me assure you that we take the "Bible as our only standard." We have no intention of making the writings of W Lee, W Nee (or any other servant of the Lord) equal to or greater than the New Testament. I say this because this concern has been raised by other believers (with some justification) due to the current teachings of LSM's "blended brothers" in Anaheim, CA.
Thanks again for your prayers
Nigel

1:23 PM  
Blogger Church In said...

Sean,

I am glad you are taking an objective view of the whole matter, and to some extent, defending both positions where appropriate.

I have been attending the Church In Irvine for the past 4 years, and I have basically come to the same conclusions that the brothers/sisters in the Great Lake churches have come to - even way before I learned about their plight. So, they can feel assured that they are not the only ones who feel LSM and Brother Lee's minitry is headed in a dangerous direction.

One thing I noticed from attending several "training" meetings at the LSM campus is that I hear a lot of saints saying they are glad they are in/from Brother Lee's ministry. Didn't Paul say in 1 Cor 3:4 that we should not be associating ourselves with any one person or ministry when he said "For when one says, 'I follow Paul,' and another, 'I follow Apollos,' are you not mere men?"

Unfortunately, the LSM elders do not try to correct these statements, which inappropriately misrepresents the Lord's will (a.k.a "heart's desire"), during the sharing (a.k.a "prophesying") sessions.

I believe that Brother Lee's ministry is not the "Ministry of the Age" and that the true Body of Christ includes all the true believers regardless of the ministry (of course this does not include non-biblical ministries) they attend. I also believe that Brother Lee's ministry is part of what he terms the "Lord's Recovery", along with other ministries that follow His Word in truth.

I pray that LSM and the saints in Brother Lee's ministry do not continue going down the path of becoming a denomination and excluding the works of other ministries, because I do believe that Brother Lee's ministry has a place in God's plan and administration (a.k.a. "economy").

If you haven't noticed, I am speaking in the Oneness of the Spirit, even though the terminology is different. :-)

Amen,
Brother in Irvine

6:28 PM  

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